Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review: Barely Breathing by Rebecca Donovan

Kindle Edition
Release date: April 30th, 2012
Goodreads Rating: 4.49
Goodreads Summary: Emma’s struggle with an abusive home life came to a heart pounding conclusion in the final chapters of Reason to Breathe. Now everyone in Weslyn knows Emma’s secret, but Carol can’t hurt Emma anymore. Some are still haunted by the horror of that night, and some must face the repercussions of their choices. Fans of Rebecca Donovan’s debut novel will discover there’s still much to learn about Emma’s life.
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It has been 6 months, 2 weeks and 4 days since I finished the predecessor of this book and everything, particularly the ending, has been engraved with me since. It’s impossible to forget when you almost tossed your laptop from frustration and sadness, thinking why the hell did it end like that? Everything was fine and looking good until the last two pages and suddenly your heart is shattered into thousand pieces. It had been an immense relief for me to find out about a brewing sequel. I looked like a lunatic with a huge pair of eye bags fishing out information about the second book and babbling to my friends about Reason to Breathe. Anyway, I was just getting nostalgic about it and had to get this out of my chest. I can go on and on about how much I love the first book (it even made it to this list) but I need to give Barely Breathing the spotlight now. Actually this is a warning that this is not really a review. More like fangirl gushing.

Good news to those who have read the first book: Barely Breathing is better. It is way more heart-warming and beautiful and moving and everything a fantastic sequel should be. I don’t know how it became possible given the amazingness of Reason to Breathe, but it is. I mentally prepared myself for a roller coaster ride of emotions and it turned out to be a useless thing to do. You can never prepare for what’s coming and that’s one of the million reasons why I love Rebecca Donovan. This book left me feeling raw and I mean that in the most positive way.

Sometimes you don’t know you want certain things until someone gave them to you. And what I mean is this gift Rebecca Donovan has given to her readers. Her talent is unfathomable and one to watch out for. I’m not one to judge about writing style but I found hers easy to love. It is written in a first person narrative of Emma, the heroine who I admired and get attached to in Reason to Breathe. Emma is one of the strongest literary characters I’ve ever known. Above everything she went through, she coped by doing her best to move on. There are of course bumps along the way and Sara and Evan made sure that they were right beside her. 

And here I thought Cassandra Clare is the Queen of Cliffhanger. Rebecca just took over the crown with the ending of Barely Breathing. It was slightly mild compared to the first book’s ending, but heart-wrenching all the same. Normally I don’t like it when the author decides to write a second and third and fourth and tenth book for a contemporary story. I think a stand-alone book is enough. But this is not a normal circumstance. I loved this series so much and I won’t mind if Rebecca writes about their whole life. 

All I can say more before I change my mind and spill the ending is I want a real-life Evan. Every girl deserves an Evan. I can’t wait for the last installment and hopefully, Emma, Evan and the rest of the characters get the happily ever after they so much deserve. 

Favorite Quotations:

“Sometimes people hurt more than they can handle... And sometimes they don't know how to ask for help. They're so caught up in their own pain, they end up hurting everyone around them.” 

“I breathed for you... I begged for you to breathe with every breath I gave to you. I kept pleading for you to breathe over and over again. And then… then you did.” 

“We can contemplate the meaning of your life all you want, but know that you're my meaning... the reason behind just about everything I do―and I would never want to change that.” 


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  1. Oh my! The ending is a cliffhanger? There'll be a third book?

    1. yes! It's called Out of Breath and Rebecca hasn't released a publication date yet.

  2. I want this right now! I must find a way to read the first!

    1. yes you must! you can buy a copy on Smashwords or Amazon. :)

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  4. I have to keep reading in hopes the Evan and Emma get back together so sad I moat started crying.

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